Day 85: Impulse & Color

AP Physics: Impulse

I introduced impulse today by rolling a cart into a force sensor with a bumper to look at the momentum vs. time and force vs. time graphs. I did this as a demo since we only have one bumper. In my 2nd hour, we got pretty nice data and students easily saw that the area of the force vs. time graph equaled the change in momentum, but my 4th hour got pretty ugly data and I’m not sure why. Afterwards, I borrowed from Michael Lerner again and had students work on solving some impulse problems using SOS diagrams.


Physical Science: Color

Students wrapped up the lab on color. Using some colored paddle filters, they observed white light bulbs, colored light bulbs, white paper, and colored felt. Next time, I might have them look at the felt under the colored light bulbs, as well, to strengthen their ideas about colored objects under different light sources. After the lab, we confirmed some observations using a diffraction grating on an overhead projector to get colored light. Finally, we revisited the video I’d shown them before the lab to refine and expand their initial explanations. In what is probably old news to people familiar with the role of phenomena in NGSS, the concrete goal of explaining an unexpected observation seemed to help students participate more, as well as give them a firmer grasp on what it looks like to understand the learning target. I’m wondering if using phenomena to frame more labs could help students coming to me from another teacher adapt to my classroom.


Diffraction grating with paddle filters

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